Friday 28 February 2020

Set A Cab A Month - February 2020

Shimmering Cloud © Joy Funnell
Fine silver with enamel and an Ethiopian Opal, made using Art Clay Silver. 

Here is my piece for February for the Set A Cab A Month challenge 😊

This was very much a 'designed on the hoof' piece!!! 😂

It started out with a textured bit of clay that I demo-ed in a workshop. Looking at the piece afterwards I decided maybe I could make something more of it 😉

I searched through my stash of cabs and found a lovely oval Ethiopian Opal Cabochon which I've had for several years, and set about thinking what to add next. 

I found a texture with radiating designs that could go behind where I was going to put the stone. 

I thought the easiest thing to do was to make a back plate for the original piece that could be added to it easily once dry. 
The back plate was roughly cut out, then refined after drying....

...and the two pieces of silver clay were joined using just water. 

I used fine silver wire to make the bezel for the opal. This would be added after firing. 

Then I searched through my stash of pre-made bits and found a pair of loops that looked a good fit!! 😁

I joined the loops to the main pendant and set about decorating the back...

...rolling out some tiny snakes to add, plus a little flower motif plus, of course, my Joy logo!! 😉

The it was off to the kiln with it for firing.

After firing I polished the pendant up and then added the bezel for the cab. 
I had originally thought I would solder this on, but I also wanted to enamel the pendant.... so I decided to add the bezel using Art Clay Overlay Silver Paste. This brilliant paste easily joins fired pieces of silver together and was perfect for adding the bail to the surface. It has the added advantage of filling gaps under the edge of the bezel where the texture is, where solder is not so happy to, and doesn't re-flow like solder would each time the piece goes back in the kiln for enamelling 😀

Now I have to say this is not my normal sort of colour palette!!! I went with matching the colours of the super sparkly opal using yellow, green and orange. I was a slightly dubious having not actually tested the combination in advance but it turned out a really lovely combo and matched the opal beautifully (though I say so myself!! lol ) 😃

After enamelling I patinated the pendant, re-polished it, set the opal into the bezel, and thought about what to hang it on. I went with a black satin cord with red transparent glass beads as I thought they set off the bright colours nicely 😀

The opal has a wonderful play of colours in it which is hard to capture in the photos.  

Overall I'm very happy with the piece and I'm enjoying the challenge of actually using some of my cabs!!

Until next time...

...have fun!!

Joy x
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